Appalling revelations have emerged regarding Apple’s outsourced manufacturing conditions

Have you recently been given, or bought, the latest Apple iPhone? Have you wondered who might have been responsible for putting it together?

The shocking truth is that it is quite possible that the workers in question did so under the…

A librarian’s approach to getting everything in order

One of the skills inculcated in people seeking to become professional librarians is Classification — the business of organising bookstock (etc) in subject groups so that it is easier for intending users to browse the shelves and find books on the same subjects close by each other and ones on…

Some of the truth—only lightly varnished!

Hello! My name is John Welford, although I had a different one when I started out.

A Short(-ish) Autobiography

I was born as Derek Clayton in August 1952 in Falkirk, Scotland. However, my birth was far from intended, with my natural father not being my mother’s husband, so it was a case of…

She was not afraid to challenge her husband, King Edward III

Philippa of Hainault was the wife and queen of King Edward III of England (reigned 1327–77). A highly intelligent and resourceful woman, she was also noted for her compassionate nature and for being the mother of sons whose own progeny would play leading roles in later conflicts in England.


A technicality created the shortest royal reign in history

When Andy Warhol spoke about everyone having 15 minutes of fame, he might have had King Louis XIX of France in mind, seeing that his “reign” in 1830 lasted for just about that length of time (to be absolutely accurate it was more like 20 minutes, although it is unlikely…

A Jesuit priest made some remarkable discoveries in 1639

Cristobal de Acuna was a Jesuit priest who made a remarkable journey down the Amazon River in 1639 and wrote a journal that became the first published description of the Amazon region and the people who lived there.

He was born in Burgos, northern Spain, around 1597 (the exact date…

A Viking warrior who fought for both the English and the Danes in the early 11th century

Thorkell the Tall was a Viking leader who was prominent in English affairs during the reigns of Ethelred the Unready (Anglo-Saxon king from 978 to 1016) and Cnut (Danish king of England 1016–35). Danish by birth, little is known of his early life before he landed in Kent with a…

John Welford

I am a retired librarian, living in a village in Leicestershire. I write fiction and poetry, plus articles on literature, history, and much more besides.

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